It’s over. It’s finally over. Santa is packing up his sleigh as we speak and his Head Helper is at home by the tree composing this final installment of Oh By Golly.
The motivation behind this project was to channel my job-related emotions through a tangible outlet. In that sense Oh By Golly has served its purpose. Having previous experience as Santa’s Helper, I knew that surviving the holiday season would be a test of my patience and perseverance. But alas, Christmas Eve has arrived and (although I have spent that last 5 weeks with him) I anxiously await Santa’s arrival.
In my first post “Three Things” I asserted that Santa Claus is real and I stand by that statement. To a five-year-old he is as real as you and me. And, although you and I both know that Santa does not exist, there is nothing more real than the spirit of love and giving that Santa represents.
The opportunity to witness that spirit for the last 5 weeks is something I will take with me. I will also take several life lessons on society and humanity with me as well (but I won’t get into that as I’m trying to finish on a positive note).
So with that, merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Santa’s Head Helper
I spent four years at a well-reputed university writing philosophy papers on Hume, giving Spanish oral presentations on the Franco regime, and studying abnormal psychology. I graduated with ‘high distinction’ with a BA in Philosophy, a BA in Spanish, and a minor in psychology and my GPA was a hair shy of 4.0.
Why did I try so hard, you might ask. Well, I had my sights set on becoming Santa’s fucking Helper, that’s why.
I sent this as a reply to someone on Tumblr, but I feel like sharing it with my followers as well:
With all the US vs EU debate on your ask box, I thought I might throw this in there:
EU: $16.4 trillion USD GDP / 500 million persons = $33,000 GDP per capita
US: $14.1 trillion USD GDP / 300 million persons = $46,000 GDP per capita
If you’re using GDP only as a measure of which ‘philosophy’ is better, it’s pretty clear which is the case. If you throw in Quality of Life and HDI into the mix, it’s not so clear though, as several European countries outpace us in those criteria.
What I find particularly interesting is exports. Looking at countries by exports, the EU (minus internal trade) is at $1.52 trillion, compared the United States’ $1.05 trillion. Germany, a ‘socialist’ country of 81 million people exports approx. $1.15 trillion (including trade with the EU), just $50 billion less than China’s $1.2 trillion.
I think this article does a better job of explaining what I mean: http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2010/08/25/german_usa_working_life_ext2010/index.html
My final thoughts: I don’t know if you can really compare the US against the EU. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. I generally like it here in the US, and I’m extremely proud of our country, but I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t something we can learn from our European counterparts, and they from us.
Partly due to last weekend’s ‘Snowmageddon’ the suburbanites came out in droves this weekend. The lines for Santa we’re exceptionally long - snaking and winding around the set. In fact, lines began to form before I had even arrived to open the set 30 minutes before go-time. This job should come with the disclaimer “Not suitable for persons with clinically diagnosed anxiety or panic attacks.”
When the lines are seemingly endless, Santa’s Helpers have to kick it into high gear. No more dancing around to get kids to smile. No more parental photo viewing before printing. Just “cheese”, snap, snap, print, and next. Some parents were irritated by the urgency of the visits but guess what - I’m irritated too.
I’m irritated that these people invaded my quiet time before opening. I’m irritated that they let their kids run around the set and jump on Santa’s throne while I set up equipment. I’m irritated that they ask me to take photos and then stand in front of my camera to take their own. I’m irritated by their kicking and screaming children. I’m irritated that they act as if it’s my fault the photos didn’t turn out. AND I’m irritated that all of my attempts to find a real job have been in vain and I’m still stuck in seasonal job hell.
Now that I have vented some of my frustration, here are some memorable Helper quotes from the weekend:
“I feel like I’m in a mosh pit.”
“I think I’m going to have an aneurysm.”
“We are in the Twilight Zone.”
This Helper isn’t the only one at the end of the rope. Poor Santa is simply exhausted from lifting America’s overweight youth onto his lap all day long. He’s sick of wrangling squirmy and wailing kids. He has just about had it with the mall’s Take-Your-Own policy. It’s no wonder the man flies to Cancun on Christmas Day for a week of recovery. He’s got a tough job.
On a positive note, there was one thing that made me smile this weekend. When Santa asked a little girl what she wanted for Christmas, she said, “I really, really, really, really, really (stalling) want something that I can’t remember right now.”
This post is dedicated to the co-Helper who brought me a DQ milkshake that made everything okay during the 3 minutes it took me to suck it down.
In related news, defense attorneys lack a sense of irony.